Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed plastic microneedles that can deliver nanoscale dyes known as quantum dots into the skin, an innovation that could help in the diagnosis and treatment of numerous medical conditions, including skin cancer.
The microneedles, which measure less than 1mm in length, were manufactured using a laser-based prototyping approach.
The researchers used the microneedles to deliver a solution containing quantum dots into a pig’s skin, and then captured the images of them using multi-photon microscopy.
This method can be used to develop rapid diagnostic tools for cancers and other medical conditions, according to the researchers.
The plastic microneedles can be manufactured to varying lengths, depending on their intended use.
The research will be published in the September issue of the Faraday Discussions.